Fuel types of new cars: diesel -17%; petrol +14.6%; electric +47% in first quarter of 2018

Brussels, 3 May 2018 – In the first quarter of 2018, 37.9% of all new passenger cars in the EU ran on diesel. Petrol cars accounted for 55.5% of the market, making it the most sold fuel type. Alternatively-powered vehicles accounted for 6.5% of EU car sales in Q1 2018, with electrically‐chargeable vehicles making up 1.7% of all cars sold.

Petrol and diesel cars

Registrations of diesel cars totalled 1,574,333 units in the first quarter of the year; 322,622 units (or 17.0%) less than during the same period in 2017. This drop in demand for diesel vehicles was largely offset by an increase in petrol sales. Demand for new petrol cars grew significantly (+14.6%) from January to March 2018, with petrol sales totalling 2,303,129 units – roughly 300,000 more than last year.

Alternatively-powered vehicles (APV)

So far in 2018, EU demand for alternatively-powered vehicles grew by +26.9%. Registrations of battery electric (+34.3%) and plug-in hybrid electric cars (+60.2%) accounted for the strongest growth – in total, 69,898 electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECV) were registered from January to March 2018 (+47.0%). At the same time, 139,556 hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) were sold in the EU, 25.7% more than in the first quarter of 2017. The market for NGV, LPG and E85 cars also started the year strongly; demand increased by 12.0%.

Compared to one year ago, Germany saw the strongest increase in APV sales (+73.4%), followed by Spain (+53.4%) and France (+15.3%). Demand for alternatively-powered vehicles also continued to grow in the United Kingdom (+9.8%) and Italy (+9.0%), albeit at a more moderate pace.